2005-04-08 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

20 Years Ago... Construction of proposed Broad Channel athletic fields and a playground at Ninth Road and Cross Bay Boulevard will begin in the spring of 1986, as reported in The Wave by Frank Harnisher, chairman of Broad Channel’s playground committee.

Rockaway is becoming increasingly dominated by the poor! This revelation appears in a United States Census Bureau study released this week. David Hepinstall, the city’s assistant commissioner of community development, reportedly agrees with the finding, but adds that the “diversity” of a former middle-class neighborhood may be enhanced culturally by the presence of more people.

Irving Abramowitz of Far Rockaway, a housing inspector, has been commended for acting swiftly to save live while performing his duties. “While in the routine performance of his duties Irving Abramowitz, a housing inspector and Far Rockaway resident, along with his partner, answered a heat complaint in Brooklyn,” begins the citation. “Upon entering the premises, they noticed an obnoxious odor and entered an apartment where they found the occupants queasy and nauseous. The inspectors immediately opened the windows for ventilation and went down to the cellar to make an inspection of the odor. They found fumes emanating from a defective boiler. They immediately called in the Brooklyn Union Gas Co. to shut down and shut off the defective boiler. “The swift action of the inspectors directly resulted in saving the lives of the occupants in the building…”

Parents and children (some in baby carriages) will block construction of the Nassau Expressway, if anyone tries to build that section that runs along the eastern border of Far Rockaway, Irving Barton, former president of the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula, threatened the State Department of Transportation this week.

30 Years Ago... With a 30-inch pipe in place between the bay and the beach on Beach 110 Street, going under Beach Channel Drive, the Freeway, Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Shore Front Parkway, the actual pumping of sand from the bay to the beach seems to be rapidly nearing the starting date.

Check off another accomplishment for local civic workers and our representatives in city, state and federal government. Hurricane insurance became available. That is a boon for property owners along the waterfront and many side streets in this vicinity. Property owners in Broad Channel and Howard Beach should also welcome the opportunity to obtain this protection.

Governor Hugh Carey, at St. Francis de Sales Church for the wedding of his oldest son, Christopher Owen, to Bonnie Blum of Belle Harbor, said that although this was the fourth wedding involving one of his children, he always felt nervous at the ceremony.

Our Mets received a royal “welcome home” from some 19,000 fans at Shea stadium afternoon when they opened the 1975 season with a win over the Phillies. And just imagine, in Chicago, they were still shoveling out the field after last week’s 18-inch snowfall. (One of those we missed.)40 Years Ago... Soon Beach Channel Drive will have to be widened or parking prohibited in the vicinity of the big housing projects, right now the cars parked there create a bottleneck, which impedes traffic.

Owen J. Devine, who is becoming known as Broad Channel’s “grand old man” is at work tracing the early history of the community, which he believes was once a haven for whalers.

Assemblyman Jack Fox is optimistic about the early passage of the bill that will allow the city to take title to the urban renewal site in Arverne without waiting for the completion of plans.50 Years Ago...

With reported agreement between Mayor Wagner and federal officials, approval for the site survey for Hammel Housing project is expected April 21.

Dr. and Mrs. Louis May, of Beach 144 Street, have announced the engagement of their daughter, Sandra, to Ronald Michael Cooper, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Cooper of Richmond Hill.

“Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of the new polio vaccine, had his troubles trying to become a doctor and would have missed out if he had not kept trying to be admitted to medical school,” Seymour Helfant, his former Arverne neighbor said this week.

Annette DiResto, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carlo DiResto of 20-50 Seagirt Avenue, Far Rockaway, will be married to Charles Wahler of Brooklyn and son of Mrs. Bert Shapiro of East Rockaway, and Mr. Charles Wahler of California, on Sunday, April 17.

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